LeBron James will not be apologizing to Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins for tweeting about Blake Griffin’s dunk over Perkins last week. And while he’s at it, he’s tired of getting blamed for things that he doesn’t feel are his fault.
“I would never apologize about anything like that when I’m connecting to my fans,” James said of Perkins telling Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday that he was upset with the Heat forward’s public reaction to Griffin’s dunk.
Earlier Wednesday, Perkins said he was upset that James had sent out a tweet to his 3.5 million followers about Griffin’s play.
“Dunk of the Year! @blakegriffin just dunked on Kendrick Perkins so hard!!! Wow! I guess I’m No. 2 now. Move over #6,” James tweeted on Jan. 30 shortly after Griffin’s soaring jam.
“Did I call him out? I mean, did you read the tweet? Did I call him out? I can see why he felt embarrassed. I don’t think I was the only one to react to the unbelievable play by Blake and that’s what it was all about,” James said after the Miami Heat’s 102-89 loss to the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.
“Now, if Kendrick Perkins dunked on somebody like that on the other end, I would have done the same thing,” James said. “If Perkins dunked on Blake Griffin or DeAndre Jordan or whatever the case may be, it would be the same thing. That’s just my love for the game and connecting with my fans.”
A polarizing figure, James said he’s gotten used to being targeted by fans, media and even his own peers.
“I’m an easy target; if someone wants to get a point across — just throw Lebron’s name in there,” James said. “You could be watching cartoons with your kids and you don’t like it, you say, ‘Blame it on LeBron.’ If you go to the grocery store and they don’t have the milk that you like, you just say, ‘It’s LeBron’s fault.’ ”
The highlight quickly went viral with numerous other NBA players commenting about it on Twitter. But James’ tweet upset Perkins.
“You don’t see Kobe (Bryant) tweeting,” Perkins told Yahoo! Sports. “You don’t see Michael Jordan tweeting. If you’re an elite player, plays like that don’t excite you.
“At the end of the day, the guys who are playing for the right reasons who are trying to win championships are not worrying about one play. They also are not tweeting about themselves talking about going down to No. 2,” Perkins added, according to the report. “I just feel (James) is always looking for attention and he wants the world to like him.”
James also referenced Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird telling ESPN’s Bill Simmons on “The B.S. Report” that, while James is the league’s best player, Bird would prefer to play with Bryant.
“It’s simple, (Kobe) has five rings and I have none so it’s easy to say that,” James said. “If I had five rings and Kobe had none, it’d probably be the other way around.”
WRITTEN BY Brian Windhorst covers the Miami Heat for ESPN.com. Tom Haberstroh covers the NBA for ESPN.com
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